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Golf Mastery - Secret to Larry Mize's Sudden Death Victory

Aug 18, 2007
Larry Mize won the 1987 Masters tournament in a sudden death playoff against Greg Norman when he hit a 140 foot chip shot that went in the hole. Never underestimate the power of your chipping! Tournaments are won and lost with this shot and players often struggle to understand what they are doing wrong when it comes to such a "seemingly" easy shot.

One of the most important parts of being a good chipper is choosing the right club. This depends on how your ball is lying and how high in the air you want the ball to go before it hits the green. Starting with your 7-iron and working down to your pitching wedge is one way to master this shot. Other golfer's use their sand wedge in certain situations or simply settle on one club and make adjustments depending on the distance from the green. These differences depend on personal choice but there is one thing that affects all golfers and is very important. This is the error concerning follow through.

The most common error in chipping comes about when you fail to control the tendency of the club at impact. This means that you start to swing the club downward but you give up right before you hit the ball. Never give up! This is called failing to "follow through" and it plagues many golfers who don't realize they are doing it. Failing to follow through is a huge mistake. You have to make sure that your hands lead the club through the impact of the shot. If the golf club overtakes your hands and begins travelling ahead of you n its own, anything can happen on impact and it usually won't be good.

In order to insure that you follow through your shot, try to put most of your weight on your left foot when you address the ball. Your hands should also be just a little bit ahead of the ball before you swing. Take your swing and make sure to follow through! You don't need to "slide" the club under the ball or "scoop" it into the air. Just keep your hands ahead of the ball as you swing and always follow through.

You may not turn into "Larry Mize" overnight but some good practice sessions with these basic tips will likely get you on the road to some good chipping. Following through can be one of the best ways to bring down your score as it will set you up for less putting on the greens and even give you the occasional chip shot into the hole just like Larry Mize!
About the Author
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